Developed by Tamsoft Published by Idea Factory International Reviewed on PlayStation 4
I’ve been looking forward to Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online, or 4GO for short, since it was announced over a year ago. This spin-off entry is special in a number of ways to the series; this is the first-spin off game in the series on the PlayStation 4 and it’s also the first Neptunia game made with the Unreal Engine. I’m a little disappointed because this was supposed to be the game where Vert is the main character since all the previous spin-offs made the other goddesses the main characters. While this game if heavily focused on Vert, she is not the main character. Still, I know a lot of people are also looking forward to this game. In 4GO, Noire, Blanc and Vert are given closed beta access to the new version of a popular MMORPG, 4 Goddesses Online due to Vert being a top player of the previous version of the game. They view it as a good opportunity to take a break from work and decide to all play together. Along the way they find that their sisters also have closed beta access so they end up playing together as well. They quickly become rivals with another party made up of two players named Kiria (yes that’s a reference to Sword Art Online) and Black Cat Princess as they race to collect the four holy treasures and defeat the demon king first.
Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4GO‘s take on action combat has been seen in other spin-off games such as Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action and Megatagmension Blanc VS Zombies. Unlike the two games listed above, this game is closer to the mainline series by allowing a party of four to be out on the field at once. The composition of your party can be changed at any time even during battle. There are a total of twelve playable characters that all have unique play styles to fit any situation that you might find yourself in. The flow of this game is similar to Phantasy Star Online 2 or Monster Hunter where you take a quest from the guild, complete it, and then return for more. The game does a great job in making the player feel that they’re in a MMO with the enemies that you face to the characters that you’ll meet. Apart from the single player campaign, 4GO does offer a lot of multiplayer missions similar to Blanc VS Zombies, though I was unable to fully experience it prior to the game’s launch. I’ll update this review when I get a chance to do so.
While the gameplay is pretty solid, there are some elements in Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4GO that are a little rough around the edges, but thankfully nothing game breaking. One of the issues that I kept having was that my character would keep getting stuck in front of the boss I was fighting at the time. All of my animations looked correct and I could still dodge, parry and jump. However, I was stuck in that spot until either the boss or I was dead or if the boss did a huge AOE attack. It inadvertently gave me practice on how to perfectly block to the point where I don’t really take damage any more. The first time it happened I thought it was cool, but since it kept happening it started to get annoying. Hopefully this glitch will get patched out when the game is released.
I was super excited to see how this would look and play since this is the first game in the series created using the Unreal Engine. I’m happy to say that this is the best looking Neptunia game to date. Switching to the Unreal Engine was the best possible choice that Tamsoft made in bringing this game to a console. I was impressed that during my whole play through I never ran into any issues with slow down, something not many games can claim. Sometimes I did run to characters that could not stay still; but nothing beyond than in terms of graphical stability. The areas are brought to life through the new engine unlike any Neptunia game before this.
Regarding the voice acting aspect, this is the first game not to feature Erin Fitzgerald as Noire. Something that has always annoyed me with this series is that not everything that is dubbed in Japanese is dubbed in English. There are a lot of scenes in this games that are fully voiced in the Japanese dub track, but when switched over to the English track there are no voice overs. I don’t understand why they would provide an English dub for a series but not dub every voice track that’s spoken in Japanese. Voice acting aside, the music does great job of making the player feel like they are in an MMORPG.
While Cyberdimension Neptunia 4GO does have its fair share of problems, none of them are game breaking in any way, just small blemishes that might take players out of the experience. The game has amazing replayability and can provide a lot of enjoyment for both fans of the series and newcomers looking for a fun new game to play.